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Medtronic Makes Final Payment of $362k to Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit, Kickback Allegations

Sep 22, 2014

With a final payment of $362,362, Medtronic has paid a total of $11.1 million to settle allegations that it used kickbacks to promote the use of its cardiac rhythm management products. The payment "concludes the investigation concerning Medtronic based on the allegations" brought by a whistleblower, according to a press release issued by the office of Eric Schneiderman, the U.S. Attorney General for New York. The payment will be split among the Medicaid programs in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

"Physicians should determine the best course of treatment for their patients based on sound medical judgment, not on any special treatment that they may receive from a manufacturer," Schneiderman said in a prepared statement. "Such conduct puts patients at risk and unfairly impacts those companies that follow the law. My office will vigorously pursue health care companies that try to improperly influence health care professionals."

The whistleblower lawsuit was filed by in 2009 by a former business development manager, Mass Device reports. The suit alleges that the company illegally bribed doctors by paying them to speak at conferences, creating free marketing and business plans, and even giving them free tickets to sporting events, restaurants and strip clubs.

Individuals can file a so-called qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government if they have knowledge of fraud or other wrongdoing. They are entitled to a portion of the settlement if the case is successful. The whistleblower will receive an estimated $1.7 million from the settlement, the U.S. Justice Department says.

In 2012, Medtronic paid $844,800 to settle another portion of the case. In May, the company agreed to pay $9.9 million a settle another portion with prosecutors in California, Schneiderman’s office said in the release.

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